Study: More Bike Infrastructure Leads to More Bike Riders

File under "build it and they will come."

1 minute read

July 19, 2016, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Vancouver Protected Bike Lane

Paul Krueger / Flickr

According to an article by Charlie Sorrel, "researchers at McGill University have just published a new study detailing how better bike infrastructure encourages people to ditch their cars and commute by bike, cleaning up the city’s air in the process."

The study focuses on Montreal, comparing" car and bike trip information from 1998, 2003, and 2008, along with changes in the 'built environment,' i.e. the increase in bike lanes and other bike-friendly changes."

"The results showed that building bike lanes definitely increases ridership and reduces car commuting, which in turn leads to cleaner air," reports Sorrel. More specifically, "A 10% increase in bike accessibility resulted in only a 3.7% increase in ridership." The article includes more data from the study, including findings on the environmental benefits of the city's new bike infrastructure.

Previous studies on the connection between bike infrastructure investments and increased numbers of bike riders have focused on the quality of the infrastructure investment, i.e., bike lanes are better than sharrows at attracting new bike riders.

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